The world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, has been inundated with questions in recent months due to its collusion with an EPA official to bury potential research on the negative effects of the product, namely its active ingredient glyphosate.
Now, things are taking yet another dizzying turn as a surprising link has been discovered between glyphosate and pregnant women.
With scrutiny and backlash against Monsanto’s flagship product counting to mount, the study could be even more bad news for the company — not to mention bad news for pregnant mothers who eat too much “conventional” food that has been grown with the use of the herbicide.
Roundup Found in Pregnant Women
According to a new article in The Huffington Post, researchers have found that the presence of glyphosate levels in their bodily fluids correlates with “unfavorable birth outcomes” while studying a group of mothers whose urine contained the chemical.
Further findings were expected to be presented on Thursday at a conference held by the Children’s Environmental Health Network in Washington, D.C., the article continued.
In total, 69 expectant mothers were tested and tracked for the study, and the research is still in the preliminary stages and uses a small sample size. But the early results are a cause for concern, researchers say.
“This is a huge issue,” said Paul Winchester, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at the Franciscan St. Francis Health system and a professor of clinical pediatrics according to the Post. “Everyone should be concerned about this,” he added about the study, the first to demonstrate the presence of glyphosate in pregnant women.
The study included the collection of urine samples and found glyphosate in the urine of 63 of 69 (91%) of pregnant women who were getting prenatal care through an obstetrics practice in Indiana, over two years from 2015-2016.
Higher glyphosate levels in women showed a correlation with significantly shorter pregnancies with lower adjusted birth weights, the Post article noted.
Critics or those who question such findings may of course point out that correlation does not equal causation, much like they did with MIT researcher Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s now-famous research showing a correlation between glyphosate and rising autism rates in the United States.
But as the article points out, the findings are especially troublesome because low birth weights and shortened gestation are risk factors for many health and/or neurodevelopmental problems over the course of a baby’s life; diabetes, heart disease, obseity and more are more likely to happen to low birth-weight babies, the article noted.
Monsanto continues to insist its weed killer is safe, but the World Health Organization deemed glyphosate a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015, and the recent EPA revelations show the company has worked overtime in order to obstruct the scientific process; other critics allege Monsanto’s own safety studies have been used to clear the product as “safe” when independent science that says otherwise is not properly taken into account.
Winchester has been conducting research on pesticide exposures and impacts on pregnant woemn for many years, and said he was surprised to see such a high percentage of pregnant women showing glyphosate in their urine while also calling for more research, and for the CDC to begin tracking glyphosate in its biomonitoring work.
For more information on the findings, check out the article in the Post by clicking on this link.